December 15, 2014: Day 2 by Bianca and Hillary

Posted by Lauren Rochholz on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 10:12 AM PST

Greetings from Nicaragua!

Today was the first full day that we worked on the retaining wall for the slope behind the little boys’ house. We had a late start since breakfast showed up late, but no one minded except for El Jefe (Wayne).  Along with our group there were several volunteers who worked with us, like a student who lives at NPH Nicaragua and goes to college in Jinotepe.  The first task of the day was to move concrete bricks.  They were too heavy for most of us to lift, so others moved the soil that will be used for backfill of the wall.  Then, some of us started digging the trench for the foundation of the retaining wall. We used different tools to break up the soil such as a macana which is a really heavy long stick with a pointed end. Using the macana was one of the most challenging tasks of the day.  While we were working, a group of boys started to gather around us.  At first they were just watching, but as time passed the boys picked up the shovels and wheel barrows and started working with us.  They were so excited to help us and they responded very well to how appreciative we were for their help.

While some of us continued to work on the wall, others helped the girls with making Christmas decorations for the las posadas this week.  Las Posadas is a nine day celebration, with each day representing each month the Virgin Mary was pregnant with Jesus.  The celebration lasts from December 16th to December 24th, and the children have parades that re-enact the nativity scene and also perform dances.

Since the older boys left to go on a retreat, we ate our meals with the girls today.  Two or three people went in to each of the houses and we all enjoyed some beef soup with the girls.  A member of our group, Mark, has his birthday today and the group of girls he was eating with found out.  They started singing him birthday songs and cracked an egg on his head, which is a birthday tradition. 

After lunch, we worked on the retaining wall some more. We finished digging out the trench and made reinforcements for columns that will be part of the wall.  After some rest, we had dinner at the same houses we had lunch at.  The girls were a lot more comfortable with us and opened up to us some more.  Some presented their dances that they will be performing tomorrow and others braided the hair of our group members.


Bianca and Hillary